After your car accident, a car accident attorney can gather information from the accident, give you legal advice, negotiate with insurance companies, and help you pursue compensation for your losses, so you can heal from it and get back to your normal routine.
Car accidents can be traumatic for the victims. From lacerations and bruises to traumatic brain injuries and broken bones, victims may suffer a range of serious injuries, some of which may require several weeks and thousands of dollars in medical and rehabilitative treatments. Harder still is the loss of a loved one in a car accident.
After a crash, recovery should be a priority. However, when you are well enough, you may also want to consider seeking support from a car accident lawyer. On top of the physical and emotional burden from the car accident, you may encounter financial hardship as you deal with medical bills, vehicle repair or replacement costs, and lost wages.
From speed limits to distracted driving laws, state and federally enforced measures promote safety and prevent collisions. Nonetheless, crashes are a common problem throughout the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), projections show that 36,120 people died in car accidents last year.
When someone disobeys local or federal traffic laws or drives recklessly or irresponsibly, they should face the consequences for their actions. This can include traffic tickets, license suspension, fees, and even jail time, depending on the offense and harm caused. They may also be responsible for compensating the victims.
If the liable party is insured and their insurance company covers the incident’s losses, then it may pay the victim for losses such as medical bills and property damage. However, if they are underinsured, uninsured, or their insurance providers’ payout is insufficient, a victim may wish to file a personal injury lawsuit.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
Car accident lawyers can be a valuable resource in any of the above circumstances, as pursuing financial awards for your losses can be a complicated endeavor.
First, the victim must prove who caused the accident and establish the sequence of events and circumstances that contributed to the crash. They will also need to gather evidence to support their claims, which may include eyewitness accounts, police reports, medical reports, and receipts for repairs.
The plaintiff may also need to communicate with insurance companies and the other party or its legal representative. While some personal injury suits resolve with a settlement, it is sometimes necessary to take a claim to civil court.
A car accident lawyer can assist you with:
- Conducting an investigation, reviewing police reports and medical records, and gathering eyewitness testimonies
- Demonstrating the circumstances surrounding the crash, as well as the sequence of events leading up to it
- Proving who was at fault
- Building a case based on the details of the incident
- Establishing a strategy to seek compensation on your behalf
- Communicating with insurance companies, lawyers, and other involved parties on your behalf
- Representing you in negotiations or a court of law, if necessary
- Keeping you updated throughout the process and address any concerns or questions you have
Some cases may be more difficult to investigate than others, like accidents involving rideshare companies, commercial trucks, public transportation, and sanitation vehicles.
In any of these circumstances, there may be more than one liable party or the liable party may be a corporation or city or state government. A car accident lawyer can help ensure you abide by the relevant procedures when it comes to dealing with these kinds of parties.
Statute of Limitations
Every state has statutes of limitations that set deadlines for plaintiffs to file lawsuits against another party, as the Legal Information Institute (LII) defines it. The statute of limitations varies depending on your location and the party against whom you are bringing a claim. For example, the statute of limitations to bring a suit against another civilian may be two or three years, whereas you may have only six months to bring a suit against a local government. The statute of limitations is not the same as the timeframe within which you should file an insurance claim. You should always file a claim or at least notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Some providers specify you must notify them within a “reasonable time” for your claim to be valid. Again, these times may vary across states.
Losses Associated with Car Accidents
Car crashes can result in a variety of losses. This can range from a totaled vehicle to debilitating physical injuries, as well as emotional pain and suffering, including anxiety and post-traumatic stress. A car accident lawyer can help you identify all of the losses you have suffered and what type of compensation you may be eligible to pursue.
You may receive compensation for the following after your car accident:
- Cost to repair or replace property
- Cost of current or reasonably anticipated medical bills
- Lost wages for the time you missed because of your injuries
- Reduced earning capacity if your injuries were so serious you are unable to return to your previous position
- Emotional pain and anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral and burial costs (if a loved one died as a result of their injuries)